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Renewable Energy Founder Forum

11th August 2020 | Thank you for attending!

Book a meeting with the founders below.

The energy sector is ripe for disruption and tech entrepreneurs will be a key driver of that change.

That's why Innovation Bay and Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) are partnering to showcase five renewable energy startups shaping the future:

Profiles of all five startups below.

1. Solpod

Short-term solar leasing for commercial and industrial rooftop sites.

About Solpod

Solpod is the world’s first redeployable rooftop solar solution.  Solpod is a provider of solar to commercial and industrial rooftop sites, using multi-panel ‘pods’ that are efficient to install, remove and relocate.  Solpod’s innovative design and installation process means businesses can benefit from short-term solar leasing, rather than committing to a long-term solar asset purchase.

Solpod’s solution means that businesses can now benefit from solar with short-term rental contracts of less than 5 years.  Rental terms are not required to fully pay off the array as per standard solar. Our Solpod rentals generate lower electricity pricing than the grid rate for many businesses across Australia.

Key Milestones

  • Securing portfolio rollouts across the GPT Group’s $20 billion property portfolio, and the New South Wales State Governments property portfolio (Property NSW)
  • Solpods have been installed at 30 sites, with positive stakeholder reviews
  • In 2020, Solpod sold its first short-term rental to BentSpoke Brewery for 34 pods.
  • Solpod was awarded a $975,000 grant from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to help commercialise our product.   
  • Won the Most Innovative Solar Solution 2019 at the Solar Cutters Award.
  • Finalists for the Clean Energy Council’s 2019 Solar Design Awards.

The Ask

We are looking to raise $15M:

  • $10M financed assets
  • $1M USA market 
  • $1M group overheads
  • $3M inventory & working capital

James Larratt

CEO & Co-founder

James Walker

COO & Co-founder

2. Electro.Aero

Electric propulsion technology for light aircraft and watercraft.


For the electric light aircraft market, we build and assemble complete integrated propulsion systems for supply to aircraft manufacturers. This includes the ducted fan, batteries, avionics, chargers, and all components required to provide a 'turnkey' propulsion solution.

In watercraft, we are developing civilian and military versions of our WaveFlyer  - which is an entirely silent, emission-free replacement for jet skis and other small craft. This addresses the issue whereby existing gasoline-powered watercraft are very noisy and polluting, which has resulted in severe and increasing restrictions worldwide on where and when such craft can be operated. Our WaveFlyer completely solves this problem.

Key milestones

  • 2016: Co-founders establish initial business plans and raise founder round
  • 2016: FlyKart unmanned technology demonstrator flown
  • 2017: World's first approval for commercial electric aircraft operations (Pipistrel Alpha Electro)
  • 2018: World's first overwater flight and island landing of a commercial electric aircraft
  • 2018: tech lab and head office commissioned at Jandakot Airport
  • 2019: world's first flight of electric hydrofoil personal watercraft (WaveFlyer prototype 1)
  • 2020: world's first flight of an electric ducted fan microlight (E1 electric trike)
  • 2020: first flight of WaveFlyer prototype 2

Richard Charlton

CEO & Co-Founder

Josh Portlock

CTO & Co-founder


3. Diffuse Energy

Decarbonising Australia’s telecommunications network with the world’s most efficient small wind turbine technology.

About Diffuse Energy

Small wind energy has historically been plagued with low efficiencies, maintenance issues, and poor commercial outcomes for the end user. The main causes of these are low design effort as well as low technology controllers.  Diffuse Energy has developed innovative wind turbine technology to directly solve these issues. The Hyland 920 is a diffuser augmented wind turbine that has a diameter of 920 mm and can produce 220 W at a wind speed of 11 m/s (40 km/h). It produces up to twice the output of existing small wind turbines, achieved through the use of our proprietary aerodynamic diffuser working in conjunction with specifically designed blades.  Coupled with our newly developed wind controller the annual yield is significantly improved over competitors.

Our technology was invented at the University of Newcastle and leverages over 20 years of international peer-reviewed small wind turbine research. We have invested more than 4 years of product research and development, including extensive computational simulations, wind tunnel testing, and field testing. 

Key Milestones

  • 2014 - 2018: 4 years of R&D of the technology during Joss Kesby’s PhD research at the University of Newcastle.
  • 2017 – 2018: Acceptance into CSIRO’s On Prime and highly competitive On Accelerate commercialisation programs.
  • 2018 – 2019: Successful application and completion of a Jobs for NSW Minimum Viable Product Grant.
  • September 2019: Completion of friends and family $145K SAFE investment round.
  • March 2020: Successful close of $400K seed funding round with Shearwater Growth Equity.
  • April 2020: Completion of a commercial-ready wind turbine and electrical controller.
  • May 2020: First commercial sales of our product.

The Ask

We are currently looking to raise $500,000 to help us accelerate the uptake of our product in the domestic telecommunications market.

Joss Kesby

CEO & Co-founder

James Bradley

CTO & Co-founder

Samuel Evans

CIO & Co-founder

4. Relectrify

Affordable and sustainable energy storage.

About Relectrify

Relectrify’s products address the need for highly affordable and sustainable energy storage in homes, business and the power grid. Our core breakthrough is an advanced battery management system and inverter solution (‘BMS+Inverter’). This mixed hardware and software solution is suitable for both new and second-life batteries, extends battery lifetime by up to 30% and provides a very-high efficiency alternating current output without requiring a costly battery inverter. 

Key Milestones

Relectrify was founded in 2015 out of battery research at the University of Melbourne. Today, we have activity globally, including in Europe, Asia-Pacific and the US, with a highly skilled team of 17 and growing. 

Along the way, Relectrify has successfully worked with a range of collaborators and prospective customers. These include:

  • A European startup developing niche mobility storage for e-rickshaws in India and e-boats in Kenya
  • Nissan 4R Energy, a joint venture between Nissan and  Sumitomo Corporation which is looking to develop second-life storage products for the Japanese market
  • A leading New Zealand power utility where we scaled our household 48V battery management system to 400V industrial / grid capability

Publicly announced ‘BMS+Inverter’ in early 2020.

The Ask

Relectrify is actively seeking growth funding. We are targeting a next funding round between $3-5M.

Valentin Muenzel

Co-founder & CEO

Daniel Crowley

Co-founder & CTO

5. Iron Matrix

Reconfigurable Solar Housing built by Anyone, Anywhere.

About Iron Matrix

Iron Matrix produces modular, structural steel framing systems, manufactured in Australia by robots and can be hand assembled in any location. 

It replaces traditional cladding and roofing materials with standard solar panels to create structures that generate, store and deliver clean energy cheaper than fossil fuels, anywhere on the planet.

The building and construction market in Australia exceeds $100 billion annually. Internationally this market exceeds $1 trillion. However, our goal is to combine this market with energy, a market that exceeds $5 trillion. We sell Iron Matrix steel with >100% margin. Our robots manufacture the steel products cheaper than China while being much faster and of higher quality.  Although we hold patents, strategic advantage has been developed through our manufacturing IP.

Key Milestones

  • 2015: Left Oil & Gas Industry after 18 years
  • 2016: Design, development, testing and certification of Iron Matrix steel parts. 
  • 2016 Nov: Submitted patents on design
  • 2017-2018: Prototype construction
  • 2018 Sep: Seed Founding, first Investor (Private Capital)
  • 2018 Nov: Australian Patent Granted
  • 2019 Jun: Established Advisory Board and added second Investor (Private Capital)
  • 2019 Jul: First production of AS 4100 (Australian Standard) steel using robots
  • 2019 Nov: US & Canadian Patents Granted
  • 2020 Jan: Cash Flow Positive, first $250k in sales (Outdoor Sign, Residential Construction, Space Activation)

The Ask

Our next capital raise will follow the completion of our first commercial projects in 2Q2020. The Series A is currently planned for $2 million.

David Morgan

Co-founder & CEO

Nina Hitchins

Co-founder & CFO

Carly Morgan

Co-founder & Chief Engagement Officer


Please contact Claire with any questions.

Claire Tester | Events Manager

Innovation Bay